Posted by: Bill | August 10, 2009

Teachers moving on

I hear and read stories like this and this pretty often. It isn’t often that I see two of them on the same day though. I’m glad that Marisa Fenwick is staying in teaching despite what appears to be some burnout at her first school. I can identify with her when she speaks of “change-resistant colleagues, a principal unable or unwilling to motivate and lead them.” Not because I have taught and dealt with this, but because I have seen what can happen when too many change-resistant individuals gain a foothold. That type of thing is a cancer to any organization. I believe that school districts and bureaucracies in general are more susceptible to it than agile, workplace utopias like ABCTE.

In the 2nd link, Sarah Fine writes that she is disheartened by what she feels is a lack of respect for her profession:

Do my lawyer and consultant friends find themselves having to explain why they chose their professions? I doubt it. Everyone seems to know why they do what they do. When people ask me about teaching, however, what they really seem to mean is that it’s unfathomable that anyone with real talent would want to stay in the classroom for long. Teaching is an admirable and, well, necessary profession, they say, but it’s not for the ambitious. “It’s just so nice,” was the most recent version I heard, from a businesswoman sitting next to me on a plane.

Speaking anecdotally of course, I have never actually run into this. I have read of this perception often though. Perhaps I have just been lucky in that the folks I know appear to understand that teaching is not for everyone and those that choose it as a career really do it because they love it. It’s usually easy to detect those who are doing it for the stability or the summer’s off. They are full of complaints and excuses.

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